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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Too Much Shampanskoye? Try the Chebureki Cure

No, don't rustle the pages too loudly, my head hurts. In a seriously dangerous way. Poor lamb you think, what happened? Run over by a Zaporzhets, caught in a lift, slam dunked by the swinging doors at the Park Kultury metro? No. None of the above. Self-inflicted I fear. In the way that only happens once in a full moon.

That last bottle of Crimean "champagne" after the good champagne, the great Chenin Blanc and the greatest Cabernet Sauvignon. Ugh. Warm and sticky and cloyingly sweet. It was the sort of sparkling wine that is a tremendous time saver: it gives you a hangover while you drink.

I know I made it home. I know I didn't disgrace myself. And I knew that getting to work this morning was going to be very difficult indeed.

I suppose it was because I am sensitive to the subject, but it seems to me the number of drunks on the metro has multiplied a hundredfold in recent years. Reeking ones, falling over ones, not getting out the door in one piece ones. And all the way I was buffeted and tugged and regretting every drop of that Soviet elixir the night before.

Trudge, struggle, climb those stairs; I just made it out to the top of the Sovyolovsky metro steps when I was confronted with the hangover nightmare in it's most vile form. A babushka: round and small with a tremendous smile she reached into her barrel and proudly held aloft ... "chebureki, my dear, tasty and cheap. One thousand rubles, why not buy two."

I will leave the story there -- some of you may still be eating breakfast -- but needless to say, as a hangover cure, those Crimean deep fried pastries just don't do the trick.

In a more sober moment I declare myself a fan, and if you can deep fry these little critters to perfection, you will have yourselves a perfect, almost, but not quite springtime snack.

I have adapted this recipe from Anya von Bremzen's Russian cookbook, "Please to the Table." It will make 12 chebureki and serve six.


For the dough:

2 cups plain flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/4 cup water

For the filling:

250 grams ground lamb

100 grams ground beef

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 medium onions, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons melted butter

1/3 cup ice water

Vegetable oil for deep frying

Make the dough by blending the flour and salt together in a food processor. With the motor running pour in the egg yolks and pulse. Add the oil and pulse again. Next add the water, pouring carefully. You may not need the whole 1/4 cup before the pastry starts to form a ball. Remove the dough from the processor, knead it for a few minutes on a floured surface and let it stand for half an hour under a kitchen towel. No need to refrigerate.

Divide the dough into 12 balls of equal size and let them sit, covered, until ready to use.

In a medium bowl combine the lamb, beef, garlic, onions and coriander. Season well with plenty of salt and pepper. Add even more pepper than you think is sensibly necessary, because the best chebureki should have a bit of kick.

On a piece of parchment paper roll out the balls of dough. (Use another piece of parchment paper over the top and the dough won't stick.) They should be an even size, about 10 centimeters in diameter. Brush each one with melted butter and set aside.

Add the ice water to the meat mixture and place a heaping spoonful of the mixture on one side of each round of dough. Fold the other half over so you have a perfect half moon and press the edges together. You need a perfect seal so the meat does not fall out, so make sure they are well sealed.

Heat the oil in a frying pan so that it is smoking and fry the chebureki for a few minutes each side until they are golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels before serving.